The Louisville Urban League is asking attorneys to volunteer their time to The Reily Reentry project.
The program aims to give free expungement services to people who have faced criminal charges, so they can find work, housing and participate more fully in society.
“We want parents to be able to ride the school bus to take field trips with their students. We want people to have the job that they want,” said Louisville Urban League President and CEO Sadiqa Reynolds. “I don’t think people understand that when you have a record, sometimes a company will hire you, but you can only go to a certain point in your career before they say, ‘You’re good enough to be supervisor, but you can’t be a manager.’”
Reynolds said that whenever people come to the Urban League looking for job or housing help, they run a records check. If that person has a criminal record that could hinder the process, the league immediately begins the expungement process.
From February 2018 to February 2021, the project has gotten more than 7,000 cases successfully cleared from people’s records and saved people almost $1.3 million in related fees.
As the program has continued to expand, the need for volunteer lawyers has increased.
In order to entice lawyers to volunteer their time, the Urban League is offering a free class, called Ethics in Expungement, about the expungement process. The class will count toward the continuing legal education, or CLE, time required to keep a law license valid.
“All you fabulous lawyers out there, you work for some big firm, you don’t know anything about expungements: Come and learn. All of you brand new lawyers who think, ‘I don’t know, but like to learn’: Come get this free CLE and learn about how to do expungements,” said Reynolds.
Interested lawyers can sign up for the class on the Urban League’s website; the class is scheduled for December 16.